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Old 05-01-2014, 08:28 PM   #1
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is weight distribution hitch needed?

I've just purchased a 2014 JayFeather X17Z . my tow rig is a 2003 4runner V6 4x4. 5k tow capacity. 17z loaded is 3500 #'s.tongue wt. is 342#. my question is do i need a weight dist. hitch and sway set up? i've been researching it with hitch stores and it's been 65% / 35% that i don't need the set up. i would like to hear from the forum. thanks in advance for your feedback.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:53 PM   #2
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My vote is yes.

I towed a 4500 lb trailer with a dodge 2500 and could tell the difference. It may have not needed it, but safety for my passengers was the motive.

The WDH leveled out the entire rig, ft bumper of truck, to rear bumper of trailer. Better control, ride and stability over rough roads

My.02
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:55 PM   #3
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I also think your tow capacity has to factor in other cargo and passengers in the 4runner
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:01 PM   #4
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Not familiar with your truck, so can't say for sure, but I'd say you're better off with than without the WDH (and sway control). I paid $600 for the Equal-i-zer hitch installed at a local dealership here, and I'd say it was money well spent.
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:22 PM   #5
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Welcome to JOF

Your correct that do to the limited CCC of the X17Z your actual loaded weight will be at 3,500lbs, which is also it's GVWR. The 342lbs is the published Dry tongue weight, the actual manufacture's recommended "loaded" tongue weight will be 10% to 15% of 3,500lb loaded weight (350lbs to 525lbs) depending on your loading habits.

Check your TV's OEM receiver hitch for a Weight Carrying mode and Weight Distribution mode limits. If your X17Z's loaded tongue weight is under your receiver's Weight Carrying mode limit you don't need a WDH, above you do.

Also check your TV's owners manual for any weight distribution or tongue weight limitations.

IMO you would benefit from using a WDH even if it's not required because it will enhance the handling of your TV...., but a sway control device should be utilized with or without a WDH.

Hope this helps.

Bob
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:14 AM   #6
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SUVs have soft suspensions to enhance ride quality because the majority of the buyers are not getting them to do real work. People want trucks, but they don't want them to ride like trucks. Even if your hitch is rated to handle the dead weight of the tongue, you'll almost certainly take too much weight off of your front end. Use a WD hitch.

We used to have an '03 Jayco Kiwi 17a, ancestor to your X17Z and same GVWR. Even with my '95 Suburban (mechanically its a 1/2 ton truck) I needed the WD hitch. I especially needed it with my old Trailblazer.
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:39 AM   #7
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The CAT scale is your friend. Load up the TT and TV and make your 3 passes, a little pencil (or spreadsheet) work and you will KNOW how you are loaded. I would expect you would benefit from a WDH and sway control. I bought an "e2" hitch to pull our X23B with and it worked nicely.
One more time, CAT good, guessing Bad.
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:54 AM   #8
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Can't put a price on safety and better handling. I vote yes!
Towing in high winds, big rigs blowing by you on the road.....you'll be glad you did.
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mspooley View Post
Can't put a price on safety and better handling. I vote yes!
Towing in high winds, big rigs blowing by you on the road.....you'll be glad you did.
Oh yes, good point. I never really thought I needed a sway control bar until I needed it. Again, with the Kiwi 17a, small trailer. Once while towing in the rain I hit a slick spot. The rear wheels of the TV went sideways. The trailer went bananas. I was pretty sure I was going to dump it. With the brake controller lever and steady pumping of the TV brakes I was able to get it back under control. Scared the pants off of me! I wonder how much harder that would have been to bring under control without the sway control bar.
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:21 AM   #10
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I had a 2001 Pathfinder and a 19H (a little heavier) and the WD hitch was a must, especially when bikes, generator, 2 adults and 2 children and other equipment was factored in.

I did a couple of 500 miles trips over 5 years and pretty much killed the PF. I bought a F-150 and the difference is night and day.

Although load rated for 5000 lbs, I would say that the 4Runner and PF are marginal TV's. I never really got into any scary situations with the WD, however I seldom went over 55mph because I just did not feel comfortable when fully loaded. With the F-150 I barely notice it is back there.
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